A convicted thief who allegedly escaped from prison by “unknown means” has been spotted on CCTV inside a store in rural Victoria.
Daniel Briffa allegedly escaped from Langi Kal Kal Correctional Centre, about 43km from Ballarat, sometime on Monday night.
Briffa was serving a jail sentence for theft, drug, and traffic-related offences when he allegedly fled the minimum security prison.
Only hours after his alleged escape, Briffa was spotted on CCTV at a convenience store on the outskirts of Ballarat.
Police said Briffa was caught on camera speaking to two patrons at the store on the corner of Gillies and Sturt streets about 10.45am.
Officers said the two customers, both men, were shopping when they came into contact with the 50-year-old alleged escapee.
As the desperate search continues, Victoria police said they were hoping to speak to the two men in the hopes they might be able to help.
In the footage, Briffa is seen wearing a black jacket, loose fitting dark tracksuit pants, white runners, and a white face mask.
He is believed to have purchased a number of items and was last seen leaving the store and heading towards Sturt St.
The lead comes as Victoria police’s Fugitive Squad takeover the search with assistance from local police units in Ballarat.
Police do believe Briffa to be violent and have urged the inmate to hand himself in at any local police station.
Nonetheless, the public are advised not to approach Briffa if he is sighted, but to contact triple-0 immediately.
Briffa is described as being 170cm tall, of solid build, short brown curly hair, a full beard and moustache, and has tattoos on his lower legs.
He is previously known to have frequented the Werribee, Hoppers Crossing and Tarneit areas across Melbourne.